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During lunch I decided to buy some software for my computer (I needed to reinstall Office 2003) and went to my favourite software place close to Xiangyang market. While crossing Huaihai Road I noticed that people were all looking up at the sky. I wondered why and also looked up. There was a huge amount of smoke coming out of the new building next to Xiangyang market. It looked more spectacular than it really was though: according to a comment on Shanghaiist it was just an A/C unit on a lower roof that was on fire.

From the ground you could not see the cause, and a huge crowd soon gathered. A traffic jam formed immediately because drivers slowed down in order not to miss any part of the action. Most car drivers looked up instead of keeping their eyes on the road, and so within a few minutes an accident happened on the corner of Huaihai Lu and Donghu Lu. The chaos was now complete, so I decided it was time to walk back to the office.
(some more pictures on

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  1. Hello, friend, Westerner 🙂

    It was this photo that drew me to your blog. It's always nice to find an expat site and yours, as an entrepreneur, reads quite well!

    At any rate, I see that the fire and smoke was reported as "just an A/C unit on a lower roof that was on fire" (to paraphrase the 'official report'), but I wonder… could it be that the builder issued this report to safeguard his reputation and business? That seems to be an awful lot of smoke for just an A/C fire.

  2. You're right, there was indeed a lot of smoke for just an a/c unit on fire. Maybe they were trying to hide the real reason, never really thought about it.